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US Senator Schumer in Lviv: 'Without aid, Ukraine will lose war, with aid it will win'

by Nate Ostiller and Martin Fornusek February 23, 2024 7:29 PM 3 min read
(L-R) Senator Maggie Hassan, Senator Michael Bennet, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Jack Reed on Feb. 23, 2024, in Lviv, Ukraine. (Irynka Hromotska / The Kyiv Independent)
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U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer warned that Ukraine is at risk of losing the war without American aid in a press conference attended by a Kyiv Independent reporter in Lviv on Feb. 23.

Schumer's visit, along with several other Democratic senators, comes at a precarious time for Ukraine. Hold-ups in U.S. assistance continue to put a strain on Ukraine's defense capabilities, contributing to the loss of the key front-line city of Avdiivka, which Schumer acknowledged.

After months of bipartisan negotiations, the Senate approved a $95 billion foreign aid bill that allocates $60 billion for Ukraine. Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson has thus far refused to put the bill to a vote in the House, instead calling a recess until the end of the month.

Many of the senators' comments were personally directed to Johnson. Schumer invited the speaker to Ukraine and implored him not "to let politics get in the way."

Schumer added that the failure to support Ukraine would hurt the standing of the U.S. in the world and increase the likelihood of further conflict in the future, which could potentially require American boots on the ground.

"If we let autocrats of the world succeed here, they will not stop. We will see greater trouble and conflict in Europe, with China, Iran, in the Middle East," Schumer said.

"If we turn our back on Ukraine, it has implications that will go on for a long time...(and) America will lose out," the senator added.

Schumer's sentiments were echoed by fellow senator Richard Blumenthal, who directed his comments to Johnson and said that the U.S. must "pay now, or pay later," which he said meant that "our own men and women will be fighting and dying on the battlefields of Europe."

Senator Jack Reed added that aid is in Johnson's hands, and urged him to help give Ukrainians the tools needed to fight the Russian invasion.

"If we do not (send the necessary weapons), we will soon be asked to send young Americans because (Russia) will not stop with Ukraine," Reed said.

Despite the heroic effort that Ukraine has put up so far, the senators said that the West must provide more military assistance, such as air defense, demining equipment, and long-range weapons, including equipment with the capability of striking the Kerch Bridge connecting occupied Crimea with Russia.

Opinion: As an American in Avdiivka, what is Congress doing?
I am an American military veteran, callsign “Jackie,” and I am writing from Donbas in Ukraine. I am originally from Orange County, California. I served in the U.S. military for eight years, stationed in Colorado, South Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait. I also worked as a contractor at the

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